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tire quality

Old 01-28-10, 03:12 PM
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tire quality

when im looking at lower quality tires vs higher quality tires (ie/kenda vs schalwbe respectively ) what am i actually looking at? Is this just weight? or is it puncture resistance as well?
Lets say that neither of them are a special puncture protecting version of the tire (ie the marathon and the k-shield) just the normal version... is one better?

Ive become skeptical of fancy tires because i bought fancy continental gatorskin tires once and i didnt find that they did anything for me compared to my basic specialized tires.
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Old 01-28-10, 03:35 PM
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Higher quality tires have better traction, less weight, and enough strength. I don't buy special puncture resistant tires because they add weight in the worst possible place on the bike.

Al
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Old 01-28-10, 04:09 PM
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Like a lot of things some time cheap is good enough and some times it's a waste of money.

For fun and edification read: https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...d-Racing-Tires

I have run some less expensive tires and they were fine for my use and the worst were some "quality brand" that kept tearing the side wall at the bead. I've settled on Conti GP's. They have been good to me.
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Old 01-28-10, 04:40 PM
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I've run some nice tires and some mid line tires and some tires that after trying got given away to the local bike coop. Some puncture resistant and some plain. Things I've picked up in no particular order are;
  • Thinner and more supple the carcase, as felt in the sidewalls, the easier the tire will roll easier AND feel nicer to your butt and hands. It doesn't hurt that thinner is lighter for whatever size you're looking for.
  • All else being equal the tire with the thinner tread face will roll easier.
  • Flat resistant belts slow down a good tire. Not a lot but it's there compared to the non belted version.
  • A tire with a thick and stiff sidewall has so much rubber in it that it sucks up energy like a black hole. Read up about hysterisis in rubber. I figure this is why they feel like they do. But regardless such tires can make it feel like you're pedalling everywhere uphill... both ways...
  • Thicker doesn't mean better flat resistance until you get REALLY thick. But then the weight issue comes into it.
  • The Panaracer kevlar sheild does work. Of the two sets and one single on three bikes that have seen extensive mileage I can't remember every having a flat on any of them. Normally I get about one a month between my other bikes put together.
  • The Continental Super Sport is a great tire for the money. It's not particularly flat resistant or fancy but they roll like perpetual motion is just >< that far away.
Everyone including me likes a deal. But unless a tire can pass my selection criteria noted above they don't come home with me regardless of price.
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Old 01-28-10, 04:48 PM
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Are they called Ultra Sports now?
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Old 01-28-10, 05:16 PM
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Just a second, I'll check.... (sounds of footsteps fade into the distance and stairs are heard being negotiated...... A distant " DOH! ! ! " is heard.... steps return and chair squeaks)

Yepsir, they are. I've got both old and new and the name change didn't sink in.
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Old 01-28-10, 05:28 PM
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Maybe if you had some facts about how much watts does a certain tire take to operate at 25mph with a 100 pound load (yeah I know, not too many riders weigh 100 pounds but the effect is the same). So look here for the facts: https://biketechreview.com/tires/imag...sting_rev8.pdf
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Old 01-28-10, 05:38 PM
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That's an interesting read but I don't see any mid price, let alone inexpensive, tires in that list.

I wonder how some of the better budget priced stuff would pan out in a similar test?

He's also obviously got some sort of irrational hated verging on fanatacism towards my two favourite brands, Panaracer and Continental so I'm just going to ignore that report.....
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Old 01-28-10, 06:09 PM
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While I do like quality products and will pay for it, I do pride myself (and feel smug) in buying something cheap that is just as good. Something about saving money and all that stuff.
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Old 01-28-10, 10:49 PM
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bahaha i didnt learn anything but that was awesome... i thought i was extreame

ok so i like your list BCrider
basically I guess i will try to stick with continentals... you guys seem to like them
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Old 01-28-10, 11:42 PM
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Originally Posted by chico1st
when im looking at lower quality tires vs higher quality tires (ie/kenda vs schalwbe respectively ) what am i actually looking at? Is this just weight? or is it puncture resistance as well?
Lets say that neither of them are a special puncture protecting version of the tire (ie the marathon and the k-shield) just the normal version... is one better?

Ive become skeptical of fancy tires because i bought fancy continental gatorskin tires once and i didnt find that they did anything for me compared to my basic specialized tires.
High TPI tyres will roll noticeably smoother, and faster than a low TPI garbage tyre. Aything that is "open tubular" is as close as you'll get to actually riding a tubular on a clincher wheel. Tyres like the vittoria corsa evo cx or the veloflex pave/records'. 300+ tpi.
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Old 01-29-10, 12:12 AM
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ok sweet thanks operator... and everyone
my main fear was that a cheap tire would be brutally puncturable
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Old 01-29-10, 12:17 AM
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Originally Posted by chico1st
ok sweet thanks operator... and everyone
my main fear was that a cheap tire would be brutally puncturable
It's more like the opposite, in reality. Cheap tyres will have no purpose built "puncture protection", but by virtue of their low tpi will offer much more than say any of the tyres I metioned in my above post. If you want pucnture protection, check out the armadillos, or the schwalbe marathon plus among others. There's always a tradeoff. The high TPI tyres have very low puncture resistance, but they roll incredibly smooth/fast.
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Old 01-29-10, 12:28 AM
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Unfortunately, it's hard to test these things objectively. Reviews are all over the place. One person's beloved tire is another person's trash.

Quality doesn't seem to correlate with satisfaction, except that people who shell out a lot try to justify doing so.

You keep a tire for a long time, and in that time, many models go out of production and new ones replace others, possibly including the tires you're on.

I avoid the super cheap stuff.

Some of the expensive stuff justifies the price, but how do you know? A wholesaler I trusted told me that I would surely be satisfied with the Schwalbe Stelvios he sold me. He was right, but I still feel like I got lucky.

Other than that, see what Al1943 wrote.

The good news is that it is a competitive industry, which leads to constant improvements.
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Old 01-29-10, 05:05 AM
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I hadn't realized that there was a connection between low TPI tires and puncture resistance. Interesting.

With my once per month to six weeks between puntures I figure that's just the price of riding. If it is that far between puncture due to choosing the less fragile low TPI count tires then so much the bonus.
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Old 01-29-10, 07:31 AM
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Speaking from a different industry the issue with knock-offs is that they have poor quality assurance, so if a small something goes wrong in the manufacturing they still sell them, whereas a premium brand wouldnt. Their yield isnt as high so the price goes up.
However no one here is saying kenda/chen-shin sucks I had this and this happen to me, so i am assuming quality assurance is still quite high.
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Old 01-29-10, 09:44 AM
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Yes, there has been outsourcing for a long time. IRC (Inoue Rubber Company, in Japan) made tires for various brands long ago, including Avocet. I discovered IRC in the 70's as an excellent value. I don't know if they still have a factory in Japan.

For some reason, National, aka Panasonic, aka Panaracer, wasn't allowed to use their real name (whatever it is) in the US for a while, so it came under many names, including Cycle Pro, which was the house brand for West Coast Cycle Imports. These were and are excellent tires, too.

I have nothing against Kenda and Cheng Shin, though I haven't seen any light, supple tires from them. It could be that I just don't know about any.

There was a Korean brand called Swallow, which turned out to be a joint partner with Schwalbe, a German company, and Schwalbe is the German word for Swallow. So now their reputation for quality is way up there, and deservedly so.

I haven't ridden a Hutchinson tire in a long time. I know they made some good tires, but I always ended up with the bottom of their lines, and they were really crap. They were made in France. I don't know where they're made now.

Continental, a German company, always had a prestigious name and a price to go with it, so I've never bothered.

Michelin was another innovator in the 70's and 80's. The Elan was the first narrow clincher tire. It wasn't durable, but it was still a breakthrough. I'll bet they still work hard at innovation and refinement.

A lot of progress in the bike industry is questionable. Half the things we get all excited about end up being stupid trends, which we see in hingsight. By contrast, tires are where real innovations are happening, and since most of us are not materials scientists, it's hard for us to appreciate what breakthroughs are really occurring, and it's also hard for us to appreciate how hard these engineers are working.

As I said in my previous post, it's hard to know what a really good tire is. Besides, we all have different criteria. I like a supple tire so I can inflate it hard. I don't worry about flats any more, since I rarely ride on glass-strewn roads, and we have no thorns in this part of the country.
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Old 01-29-10, 10:49 AM
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Do road racers run Kevlar lined tires? Or they would forsake such things to minimize weight?
I don't think I've seen someone in TDF having flat issues. I guess they'll just switch bikes.
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Old 01-29-10, 12:18 PM
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In a road race, you generally get a wheel swap. A good mechanic can make the swap while the rider stays straddled over the bike, and very quickly.

I don't know, but I doubt they run kevlar belts, because, as you say, weight is key.
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Old 01-29-10, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by |3iker
Do road racers run Kevlar lined tires? Or they would forsake such things to minimize weight?
I don't think I've seen someone in TDF having flat issues. I guess they'll just switch bikes.
There's a difference between tires used for training and racing. Most of us are out here for the exercise and the fun of riding a bike and probably have budget concerns. TDF riders have flats and have a support vehicle to get 'em back racing. What I think the OP and most of us are seeking is that balance of decent road feel, durability and ruggedness. Light weight tires and wheels are easier to accelerate. Having said that smooth rolling heavy tires have inertia. The comments about the Conti Ultra Sport approaching Perpetual Motion may have something to due with the claimed weight of 340g for the wire bead or 270g for the folder vs. 205 for the GP 4000 (folder only)

Here's a blog post I found this morning that may be interesting: https://redkiteprayer.com/?p=1677

I researched comments about Specialized Mondo here on BF and found however much the blogger on RKP liked 'em there were people here that had bad luck.

I do appreciate the comments about outsourcing. Like buying grocery store "brand" food sometimes the quality is just as good in my perception as the well known BRAND next to it at a higher price. That's a bargain. Sometimes it's definitely a second in quality but the price may relieve that lack. Then again I've thrown some out and regretted the purchase.
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Old 01-29-10, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by A.Winthrop
I suspect sometimes expensive tires are inexpensive tires
dressed for a wedding. For example, my LBS sells a yellow &
black striped, Kevlar bead & puncture resistant Bontrager
tire made in Taiwan for $40 a tire. It is beautifully
packaged for shop display purposes.
When I replaced the Bontrager Race Lite tires on my wife's Trek with new Michelin Pro Race 2's she said it was the best thing I'd ever done for her.
Not sure what she meant by that.

Al
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Old 01-29-10, 01:20 PM
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P2R just has this "we got it right" riding quality to it.

it's all in how much the tire will allow the sidewall to deform when rolling on uneven pavement.
of course, they're not the best in regards to durability.
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Old 01-29-10, 02:35 PM
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I think it's important to echo operator's statements about TPI and how it relates to tire feel. Rubber quality, thickness on the tread and sidewalls, the puncture resistant layer, if any, and the flexibility of the underlying casing are the main things that affect how a tire feels. Cost isn't really a good indicator of how good a tire is for a given result, it's whether you're looking for puncture protection, a good feeling tire, miles per dollar, or ultimate color matching fashion.

Continental Gatorskin vs. Michelin Lithion for example, they may cost about the same, but the Lithion is going to ride better, because the Gatorskin sacrifices feel for better puncture protection.

I've had people on group rides specifically comment about how much worse their bike rides, because they got an excellent deal, $10 each for "the cheap tire from a big German company" but the last set of tires on their bike was what it came with, Michelin Pro2 Race. For some reason they didn't expect there to be a big difference there. When the online store says "low rolling resistance training tire!" they don't exactly qualify "low" very well...
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Old 01-29-10, 02:56 PM
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IMO, for "ride feel," it's hard to beat the open tubulars made by Vittoria and Challenge. I've ridden Vittoria EVO CX open tubulars (320 tpi), Challenge Criteriums (290 tpi), and Challenge Parigi Roubaix ( a 700 x 27c tire with 260 tpi). The ride quality is like nothing else in a clincher. Resistance to punctures and durability, not very good. But once you've ridden them, you're spoiled. You don't go back.
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Old 01-29-10, 03:01 PM
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What are open tubulars?
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